If you’re still pinching yourself on whether this morning’s Blur announcement actually happened, then don’t worry. You’re not alone. We too are feeling a bit shell-shocked by the announcement, and after a few hours of delirium can confirm that it was, in fact, real. Blur are set for what looks to be yet another huge date at Hyde Park, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg – as we can officially brace ourselves for an even bigger bit of news – ‘The Magic Whip,’ their first album in 12 years, which will be released April 27.
Among all the excitement of these revelations it would be easy to forget that the press conference was concluded with the premier of ‘Go Out,’ the first single from the album. But now that we’ve all calmed down a bit, let’s have a look at the track.
As the video would indicate, ‘The Magic Whip’ was recorded in Hong Kong, and in the conference the band spoke of how far the album was influenced by the city, with Damon Albarn likening the album’s tone to Bowie’s Berlin years. While the recording environment certainly had its effect on the track with the hot, claustrophobic conditions of the studio making for a fierce, sweaty affair, the track is undoubtedly and unavoidably blur.
In typical Blur fashion the track goes “out to the local;” Albarn elongating the syllables to “lo-o-o-o-ocal” in the way that only he does – this chorus complemented by Graham Coxon’s lighter backing vocals before the awkward maverick switches the pedal to overdrive and delivers one of his signature hard-hitting guitar lines, showing that the attitude of their youth still remains. All the while you can just see Alex James slouching in the background, cigarette hanging out of mouth peddling yet another cool, bouncing bassline which probably required no thought whatsoever.
It’s fun, it’s contagious, it’s cool. But most importantly, it’s Blur. They’re back.